Wheat stem sawfly (WSS), Cephus cinctus Norton (Hymenoptera: Cephidae), has recently emerged as a key pest of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in the Great Plains and Canadian provinces. The expanding impact of WSS has caused considerable economic losses to wheat production. Solid-stem varieties of wheat remain the only effective measure of suppression of WSS, and the goal of this research was to test whether five solid- and hollow-stem varieties of winter and spring wheat reduce survival of WSS in South Dakota.We reported that solid-stem varieties had significantly lower numbers of WSS larvae, and this effect was especially evident when WSS infestation rates exceeded 15%. We also observed that the yield of solid-stem varieties was significantly lower than hollow-stem varieties when the abundance of WSS was low, but not when populations of WSS were relatively high. We did not observe consistent differences in grain quality between solid- and hollow-stem varieties, however, and in case of protein levels of grain, solid-stem wheat varieties performed better than hollow-stem wheat. We conclude that solidstem varieties of wheat appear to effectively suppress WSS survival, and reduced yield of these varieties is less apparent when populations of C. cinctus are high enough to affect the yield of hollow-stem wheat. This is the first report to describe the effectiveness of solid-stem varieties of wheat on WSS in South Dakota. More research in the state is necessary before more robust conclusions can be drawn.
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Vol. 108 • No. 5